Fluoride Action Network

Yorkshire. ‘Medication without consent’: Calderdale could get fluoride in water if Kirklees and Bradford go ahead

Source: Halifax Courier | August 12th, 2009 | By Emily Heward
Location: United Kingdom, England

PARTS of Calderdale could get fluoride in their drinking water if neighbouring areas go ahead with plans to put it in the supply.

Health bosses in Kirklees and Bradford want to add the controversial treatment to their water in a bid to improve dental health – but the Courier can reveal that supplies in Calderdale could also be affected.

And critics say there is a danger of Calderdale people getting fluoridisation without even being consulted.

A spokeswoman for Yorkshire Water said: “We operate through a grid network, which means potentially if one area got fluoride, other areas would be affected.”

But she said she could not be specific about which Calderdale postcodes that could be.

A spokesman for the Yorkshire and Humber Strategic Health Authority said they were carrying out a study into the possibility of putting fluoride in the water as requested by NHS Bradford and Airedale, and NHS Kirklees.

“We will look into many issues including whether there could be an impact on other areas. Until the results of the study are known we are not able to say what the possible impact could be.”

Yorkshire Water said they were looking at where in the grid system the fluoride would have to be placed to reach the requested areas and stop it filtering into other areas. They said they were obliged to act on the strategic health authority’s decision.

But Calder Valley MP Chris McCafferty said: “It is medication without consent. If people want to add fluoride to their diet, they can take tablets or use a fluoride toothpaste. It is quite wrong that any health authority should consider doing this when the outcomes are not fully known.”

A spokesperson for NHS Calderdale, formerly Calderdale Primary Care Trust, said: “Once the results of the study are known we will be in a better position to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of water fluoridation in Calderdale.” The results of the study will be available in spring 2010, when the public will be consulted.